Friday, September 11, 2015

A Georgian Jeweler

From historical novelist Regina Jeffers:
In my current WIP, I had the need to discover something of the jewelry trade during the Regency Era. Rundle & Bridge were considered jewelers for the ton after 1805. Remember that if one had money, the Regency was an era of custom-made jewelry. So while some might browse a few pieces made up, it’s more likely that person would view some drawings and the stones and have something made to order. Even heirloom sets were often reworked and remade to suit fashion. 

Philip Rundell headed up a silver manufacturing company. Jewelry of every type (watches, rings, necklaces, custom-made items) filled his shop at number 32 on Ludgate Hill. Rundell was an apprentice to a jeweler in Bath before arriving in London in the mid 1700s. He worked for many years at Theed and Pickett, Jewelers and Goldsmiths. Eventually, he made partner with the group and later (1785) purchased the shop, which was to bear his name. 

John Bridge became Rundell’s partner soon afterwards. Through a connection of a cousin, Bridge soon earned the notice of King George III. Soon, Rundell and Bridge were known as “Jewelers and Goldsmiths to the King.” The business received royal warrants from George IV and Frederick, Duke of York. 

To learn more of the other partners and designers associated with Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, please see this post on the Georgian Index. It contains fabulous images of some of the most important pieces created by the firm, including “The Shield of Achilles,” designed for George IV’s coronation. (Read more.)

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